Morrisons set to open new Amble supermarket with a special focus on support for food banks

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Morrisons is set to open its new store in Amble with an immediate focus on helping food banks cope with an increase in demand.

The new 14,500 sq ft supermarket – which will create more than 100 full and part-time jobs – will open its doors on Thursday, April 2.

However, social distancing restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic mean opening day celebrations will be markedly different to what might have been expected.

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The new store will be playing its part to help restock local food banks thanks to weekly deliveries of essential items.

The Morrisons Amble store during its construction.The Morrisons Amble store during its construction.
The Morrisons Amble store during its construction. | Other 3rd Party

It will be operating its bakery, egg and fruit & veg packing site for an extra hour every day to make, prepare and pack food required to restock the food banks.

Morrisons will also be sending deliveries of canned foods and pasta for distribution to food banks by the store’s community champion, Marion McKenzie Long.

In addition, to make it easier for customers to donate to food banks in store, purchase limits on items will be raised to four items (from three) and some removed altogether.

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The Amble store will create ‘local’ drop off points for customers to donate products to those in need and a donation hub will collect these additional products for their local food banks.

David Potts, CEO of Morrisons, said: “As a food maker and shopkeeper we are uniquely placed to help. We know food banks are finding life very difficult and running our manufacturing sites for an extra hour each day to help restock them is the right decision at this time.’

During this time of supporting local communities and feeding the nation, the new store will focus on delivering Morrisons core services and essentials for its Amble customers.

In the coming months, it will eventually offer a wide range of features including a coffee bar, garden shop, bakery counter and cake shop, takeaway salad bar, pizza counter, butcher counter, Nutmeg clothing and a selection of Free From products.

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The store will also offer a Community Room providing a free meeting space for local groups such as new parents, charities, book clubs, craft groups and gaming communities. To book it, email [email protected].

The supermarket forms part of a wider plan to create Amble Retail Park on the southern gateway into the town.

The development will be complemented by a number of other national and local retailers, a petrol filling station and a drive thru coffee shop.

The opening of The Amble Inn just over a year ago has been seen as the catalyst for the project to revive a site which had been vacant since a food factory closed in 2011.

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The £4million pub with rooms on Sandpiper Way, operated by The Inn Collection Group, created the equivalent of 30 full time jobs.

Advance Northumberland is leading delivery of the project on behalf of Northumberland County Council.

The Morrisons store will be around the same size as the Alnwick branch.